Gerald Coetzee is all set to make his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut in 2024. The South African had been a talisman for his side in the 2023 ODI World Cup, rattling sides with his raw pace. He has the ability to pick up regular wickets and surprise batters with his bouncers. Many franchises are still looking to bolster their pace attack, particularly with genuinely fast bowlers. This ensures that Coetzee will be a franchise favourite at the mini-auction. Coetzee knows his value in a competitive tournament like the IPL. He has set his base price in the highest possible price bracket of Rs 2 crore in just his debut season.
Raw pace with discipline
Coetzee’s pace is only second to his aggressive celebrations on the field. Not one to shy away from showing emotions, Coetzee wears his heart on his sleeve. He is a genuine wicket-taker. This often prompted skipper Temba Bavuma to bring him on in the middle overs to get a breakthrough when the game was cruising along in the opposition’s favour. Coetzee delivered on most occasions, breaking vital partnerships.
The energetic South African can bowl consistently above 145 kmph. He can also bend his back to extract extra bounce off the pitch. This makes him a dangerous bowler to face even when the pitch doesn’t offer much to the fast bowlers.
Coetzee was one of the finds of the year for South Africa. The young pacer was brought into a team known for producing fast-bowling legends like Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn. He was replacing one of the team’s most lethal pacers, Anrich Nortje. South Africa had a well-rounded pace attack and Nortje’s absence looked like it could upset the balance of the side. Coetzee did not allow this to happen.
The pressure was on from the start of his international career and he delivered on the biggest stage picking up three wickets in his Test debut. This earned him a white-ball call-up as well in the same series. There he finished with figures of 2/53 on a pitch where the pacers were taken to the cleaners.
His impressive performances earned him a spot in the team’s playing eleven at the World Cup. This is where he truly came into his own, ending the tournament with 20 wickets to his name. He even surpassed experienced pacers from his side like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi to emerge as the team’s most successful bowler in the tournament.
Coetzee has played four T20I matches so far and has six wickets to his name. He is yet to make a mark for the team in the shortest format of the game. However, he has been improving. In his T20I debut series against Australia, he has just three wickets to his name in as many matches. He even proved to be expensive, consistently going for above 10 runs an over.
In the recent home series against India, Coetzee picked up three wickets to halt the visitors’ momentum. He bowled in the right areas in the death overs to keep the Indian team from getting to an overwhelming score.
Franchises will keep a keen eye on his performance in the final T20I to see how well he adapts to the format.
Teams that could target Gerald Coetzee
Mumbai Indians will be keen to add Gerald Coetzee to their ranks as a partner for Jasprit Bumrah. The team is left depleted with the exit of Jofra Archer, who they had heavily invested in. Bumrah can dry up the runs while Coetzee’s wicket-taking ability will make him the perfect aggressor from the other end.
Coetzee’s association with the Super Kings franchises in other leagues will also make him one of the front runners to be picked up by the Chennai Super Kings. They struggled with injuries to their key fast-bowling personnel last season. They will also look to add some young blood to their side, making Coetzee a perfect fit.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is another side that has a depleted pace attack this season. Releasing Josh Hazelwood has left them on the lookout for a replacement. The strong batting lineup needs a good bowling unit to back them up. Expect them to go big on Coetzee.
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